Steel is one of the most widely utilized building materials for a variety of purposes, including:
- Commercial and residential building projects
- Bridges and highway construction
- Vehicles and household appliances
Fortunately, through decades of innovation, steel has become easier to manufacture; and just as importantly, steel is one of the most recycled and thus sustainable materials in the world.
Why is Sustainability Important?
Sustainable materials don’t deplete non-renewable natural resources during the manufacturing process. This is extremely important since non-renewable resources are only available in finite quantities. The other benefit to preserving non-renewable resources is to maintain the environment’s natural equilibrium.
What Makes Steel Sustainable?
One factor that makes steel a sustainable material is its significant reduction in energy emissions (by approximately 31 percent). One ton of steel now takes one-third less energy to manufacture than it did in 1990. Also, during steel production, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 36 percent. Steel is also the most recycled material in the world, with more than 65 million tons recycled per year.
What is Life Cycle Thinking?
The steel industry has committed itself to Life Cycle Thinking. This method of analysis allows the industry to continually examine its environmental impact. Thus, Life Cycle Thinking looks beyond simple eco-friendly practices to understand the impact of steel production on all aspects of daily life. This includes manufacturing, design and production, use and maintenance, disposal and recyclability of waste and components.
Using Recyclable Steel
An estimated 93 percent of steel currently used in construction projects is recycled. Additionally, 98 percent of a building’s steel is recycled back into other steel projects once the building reaches the end of its life-cycle. This recycling happens without any degradation to the quality of the steel, making it a truly reusable resource.
We at U.S. Bridge pride ourselves on building structures that last, without negatively impacting the environment. By working with a sustainable material, like steel, we’re confident that our bridges will be around for decades without leaving much of a carbon footprint.
U.S. Bridge has worked with local and state governments and recently completed a bridge-building project in under 30 days. To discover what our professional team can do for your next project, please contact us today.